A Successful Research Project – Step 2: Secondary Research

by Jenny on November 29, 2016 Comments Off on A Successful Research Project – Step 2: Secondary Research


  1. Discussion & Discovery (CLICK HERE)
  2. Secondary Research
  3. Clarify Objective
  4. Primary Research
  5. Strategy & Planning
  6. Implement & Launch
  7. Report & Benchmark

Before we move forward with Step 2, it’s important to clarify why ‘Step 2: Secondary Research’ occurs before ‘Step 4: Primary Research.’ While common logic might suggest these two steps be flipped, these are research industry terms which will make more sense as we cover respective details of each step.

After conducting our internal discussion which established our research objective and solidified project specs, we acknowledge the fact that we do not have data relevant to our industry of choice; Athleisure. For more information regarding how we got to this point, we’ve provided a link to Step 1 in the list above.



Based on the result of completing Step 1, we want to better understand the Athleisure Industry in regards to market trends and consumer traits. Since we don’t have any industry related data, we start with a high-level understanding of that which has contributed to the growth and success of the Athleisure Industry.

As defined by Wikipedia, “Secondary research (also known as desk research) involves the summary, collation and/or synthesis of existing research rather than primary research, in which data are collected from research subjects or experiments.”

Referencing our research objective as defined by Step 1, we search existing websites, publications, and other industry-related online sources to collect data pertaining to our project’s scope. As we collect this secondary data we organize our findings to support internal review and analysis.



Having acknowledged our lack of internal Athleisure data, collecting and reviewing existing data provides a better understanding of industry trends, competitors, and consumers. This information will help further clarify our research objective, and provide guidance as we approach our primary research.

As we move forward in our process, we want to position ourselves for the best possible chance of success. Our secondary research findings provide a deep understanding the industry and its consumers. This will ensure that we address the right sample population, use appropriate verbiage, ask meaningful questions and provide relevant response options.

If we had skipped this step, our primary research would be based on guesses and assumptions. Our research questions might have been irrelevant to Athleisure companies, thus negating the value of our efforts and resulting insights.



We began our secondary research addressing the Athleisure Industry as a whole. By understanding the reasons for Athleisure growth in popularity, we could start to build a framework for ensuing steps.

Our research quickly identified key areas promoting industry growth:

The internet offered consumers a better understanding of health and wellness. This resulted in growing online community forums for those looking to discover tips and trends related to an active lifestyle. The internet also allowed for online purchases facilitating an easy, efficient transaction process.

Society itself became increasingly fast-paced. Preferences shifted from high-profile brand names to multi-purpose wear that was functional, attractive and affordable.

Following these reasons for industry growth led us to detailed statistics, and a deeper understanding of the industry itself:

  • 38% of consumers said they purchased workout gear as casual daywear
  • Yoga Pants sales increased 341% over a three month period in 2015
  • Sports Bras saw a 96% increase in new product arrivals
  • Only $1 out of every $7 spent on Athleisure items were Men’s products
  • Sports participation by Female high school students increased from 17% to 32% since 1995

Looking ahead to our next steps and considering our research objective, leveraging this secondary research offered a better understanding of who would be an ideal respondent for our primary research and what we’d like to ask them. After careful review, we use our secondary findings as a guide moving forward.

Be sure to check back soon as we continue our series with Step 3; Clarify Objective.


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Jenny Dinnen is President of Sales and Marketing at MacKenzie Corporation. Driven to maximize customer's value and exceed expectations, Jenny carries a can-do attitude wherever she goes. She maintains open communication channels with both her clients and her staff to ensure all goals and objectives are being met in an expeditious manner. Jenny is a big-picture thinker who leads MacKenzie in developing strategies for growth while maintaining a focus on the core services that have made the company a success. Basically, when something needs to get done, go see Jenny. Before joining MacKenzie, Jenny worked at HD Supply as a Marketing Manager and Household Auto Finance in their marketing department. Jenny received her undergrad degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and her MBA from the University of Redlands.

JennyA Successful Research Project – Step 2: Secondary Research